FORD VAN POINTERS.
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By R. T. Nicholson (Author of "The Book of the Ford").
IN Pointer 395 I dealt with the case of a•jamming starter, and gave certain advice which would, I thought, meet the particular case then under consideration. In the meantime, I have been looking more-deeply into the subject, because I believe in living and learning.
401.—Why a jamming Starter Jams.
Always supposing that. the battery is well " up," and that the starting motor is eleetrically in good conditiou, jamming is nearly always due to one of two causes—wear or foreign matter (alias dirt). There is a third cause with which I will presently deal.
Long use of the starter has the effect of burring the teeth either of the starter pinion or of the flywheel. When such wear takes place the teeth are no longer a good mutual fit ; in other words, they do not engage snugly, and then they way bind.
The only remedy in this case lies in grinding both sets of teeth to a fit, and this is hardly an amateur job. Small burrs can, however, be smoothed away with a file.
Unless the crankcase is properly scavenged not less often than every 2,000 miles—preferably oftener— a lot of dirt gets thrown up by " splash " on to the starter pinion and the flywheel, and that may cause -jamming. There must he free engagement of the teeth, and the starter pinion must be free to slide to and fro by turning on its screw shaft. '
The Reason for the Jam.
When a jam occurs, it takes place because the teeth of the pinion come edge to edge against the teeth of the flywheel, pushing against them. sideways instead of entering them. The motor is thus shoving against the flywheel instead of turning it, and as the flywheel will not budge the motor cannot.
The Third Cause,
The third caus e—which has just the same effect—is to be found in too gentle use of the foot switch. If you play with it instead of pressing it hard home, the pinion of the starter lazi es forward till it just reaches the. flywheel teeth, and there it rests. When you use
the foot switch, be bold in attack. Get the plunger right home, and that quickly.
Freeing the Starter.
If the starter jams, the way to free it is this Set the hand brake lever right forward. Go to one of the back wheels and pull on its spokes, as if you were trying to move the van alternately slightly backwards and slightly forwards. Presently you should hear a slight click, which ,meansi that the starting motor has got out of engagement, and, is back out of working position. This is the easiest way to free the starting motor when you cannot throw it out of engagement by turning the starting handle—as you generally cannot when the jam occurs.
402.—A Few Starter Hints.
Ti is very important that the Bendix pinion should be free to disengage itself from the engine flywheel once the engine has begun to fire. Otherwise the starter shaft will have to turn with the engirin, and it is not built for that. The regular average speed of the engine is about 1,000 revolutions 9, minute. Think what that means to the starter if its pinion remains in engagement. The gearing of the starter in relation to the flywheel is as 12 to 1 • in other words, the pinion turns 12 times to the flywheel's once.If, therefore, the pinion remains in mesh with the flywheel when the engine is Fig. 255. How to free a starter running at aver which has stuck—rock the vehicle age decent backwards and forwards by means spee d, the of a wheel. pinion and the shaft will have to turn at the rate of 12,090 revolutions a minute.
Happily for you, the pinion generally will free itself, and for the simple reason that if it is free to engage, it is pretty sure to be equally Nee to disengage. But pall of this illustrates the importance of having the Bendix pinion very free on its screw shaft, and of seeing that neither wear nor dirt interferes with it.
A heavy oil in the crankcase tells against the free action of the starter—particularly in winter. A " frozen" oil plays havoc. Get ready for winter lubrication, please.
Heavy, slap-dash engagement of the pinion with the "flywheel and much noise when the starter is turning the engine should be .suspected as meaning that the starter is not well fitted•to the transmission cover. It may be a case of looseness of the bolts that attach it, though there may he other_causes of bad "alignment." The teeth will not mesh easily unless 'the starter :s well aligned to the flywheel. Beware of using the starter at all when the action is laboured: you may easily smash something if you pay no heed to the noises. A broken drive spring or a bent starter shaft are the usual results.